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SA Giving 2017: South Africa’s Ubuntu spirit continues to soar

Despite challenging economic circumstances, the South Africa Giving 2017 report reveals that individuals in South Africa – particularly the younger generation – continue to give of their time and money to assist individuals and communities in need.

Detailing the different ways that people in South Africa donate and volunteer, this report covers how much money on average is donated by individuals, which causes people give to, how people like to give, as well as what motivates people to give.

It’s positive to note that almost nine out of ten people surveyed (88%) took part in at least one charitable activity in the 12 months under review. The most commonly undertaken activities were giving money directly to people in need (69%), and to give money to a church or religious organisation (69%).

In terms of volunteering, 61% of people surveyed had volunteered in the last 12 months, with younger people (aged 18-24) leading the way in this regard.

 

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Similar donating patterns across income brackets

The report reveals that eight in ten of those surveyed (81%) had given money in the past 12 months, either to an NPO/charity, to a church or other religious organisation, or by sponsoring someone.

Out of those who had donated, in the past 4 weeks the typical (median) amount given was R500, whilst the average (mean) donation was R1,306 over the period.

The typical (median) amount given did not differ between those with the highest incomes (over R500,000) and those with the lowest incomes (less than R100,000), with people in each group giving a median donation of R500.


Alleviating poverty is top of mind

In our research, the most popular cause to donate to and volunteer for was helping the poor. This is particularly apt in light of the devastating poverty levels in our country (in 2017, StatsSA revealed that over 30 million South Africans are living in poverty).

Amongst those who donated, over half (58%) reported giving money to assist the poor. In terms of volunteering, most volunteers (43%) chose to embark on activities that assisted with poverty alleviation.


Convenience is king when it comes to donating

The most preferred donation method amongst individual donors is via a donation box in shops (40%). This is followed by direct cash donation at the office of the NPO/charity (37%) and giving digitally via online or using a digital wallet (37%).

The research is also starting to highlight the opportunities that the use of digital technology brings to increase giving.


Young people lead the way

The report reveals that younger people (aged 18-24) make larger donations on average than older people (aged 55+).

The typical (median) amount donated amongst the younger age group is R424 (vs. R400 for those aged 55+), while the average (mean) amount donated by 18-24 year olds is R1,510 rand (vs. R895 for those aged 55 and over).

Younger people (46%) are also significantly more likely than those aged 35-44 (34%), 45-54 (28%) and 55 and over (26%) to get involved in volunteering activities.


Comment from Gill Bates, CEO of CAFSA:

“When looking at the findings of the South Africa Giving 2017 report, which provides insight into individual giving in the country, we are reminded that the resilient spirit of Ubuntu is alive and well in South Africa. It’s positive to note that almost nine out of ten people surveyed (88%) took part in a charitable activity in the 12 months under review.

“This report helps us to understand the ways that we give in more detail. It is through these insights that we can reflect, develop and grow in order to work more effectively to strengthen civil society in South Africa.”

This South Africa Giving 2017 report is one of an international series, produced across the CAF Global Alliance, a world leading network of organisations working at the forefront of philanthropy. The series also includes reports covering Brazil, Canada, India, Russia, the United States, and the UK.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL SOUTH AFRICA GIVING 2017 REPORT. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE INFOGRAPHIC. 


Key findings of the report:

Our analysis provides these key findings for individual giving in South Africa:

- Around eight in ten people surveyed (81%) have given money in the past 12 months, either to a charity, to a church or religious organisation, or by sponsoring someone.

- Individual donors said they are most likely to give money because they believe they can make a difference, and because they want to help those less fortunate than themselves.

- Amongst those who donated in the past 4 weeks, the typical (median) donation was R500.

- The most common method of donating was via a donation box in a supermarket/shop, which 40% of those surveyed had used.

- Six in ten people surveyed have volunteered in the past 12 months (61%), 49% have done so for a church or religious organisation, 45% for an NPO/charity and 45% for a community organisation.

- The most popular cause amongst donors (58%) and volunteers (43%) was helping the poor.

- Having more money themselves is the thing most likely to encourage those surveyed to donate more time, goods or money in the coming 12 months (53%).